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  1. #1

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    Solarisation with hydroquinone? (or other stuff)

    I've been playing with solarisation (of film, not paper), using the simple expedient of switching on the room light for a couple of seconds while a sheet of film is in the tray. The results don't stink (example attached), but the edge effects aren't very strong---in some cases I just get a reversal of the expected image, with a lot of base fog and some lowering of contrast.

    Supposedly, solarisation works best with something close to a straight-metol developer. You don't use MQ developers, I gather, because of the superadditivity---development runs too fast in certain parts of the curve and that interferes with the effects of solarisation. But I'm using HC-110, which isn't an MQ developer, it's mostly hydroquinone. The other developers I have on hand are Diafine (where I have no idea what the developing agent(s) might be) and the raw materials for Caffenol.

    So, am I wasting my time trying to make interesting solarisations in HC-110, or does the absence of metol prevent the superadditivity problem (in which case I just need to keep experimenting and see what works)?

    Using the Diafine instead would be a bit of a pain (there's not much tray space in my darkroom, and I'd be afraid of contaminating the A solution in the dark), but if there's reason to think the results would be interesting, I can manage to give it a go.

    Caffenol, I suppose I'll try out for this purpose eventually, but it's slow; even Caffenol C times are kind of long for sitting around in total darkness.

    Thoughts, suggestions, brickbats...?

    Thanks

    -NT
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2310459698_d70a889fe5.jpg  

  2. #2
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    True solarization of film was done with extreme over- exposure in the camera, not in the development.

    There used to be a developer called Solarol on the market which produced a "false" solarization effect. You may be able to find some with an inquiry on here, or on the auction site. I don't know if anyone has published an analytically based formula or not.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #3
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    The effect you are seeing is called the Sabattier effect. It works with any developer.

    PE

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    IIRC, Sabattier and solarization are two different things, but often confused with one another.

    Last time I got a Porters catalog, Solarol was in it.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The effect you are seeing is called the Sabattier effect.
    Yeah, I know, but Sabatier stole the credit for it, so I hesitate to give it his name. Granted, it's not the same as in-camera solarisation per se, but people do seem to call it that since Man Ray.

    It works with any developer.
    You sure? My sources say otherwise---notably http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/wljeme/Chapt5.html, with a section called "Why Do Metol-Hydroquinone Developers Solarize Relatively Poorly?"

    -NT

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    Well, as pointed out in that URL, the author says that the effect is very dependant on paper. Then he describes how much Brovira and Kodabromide differ, but they actually are very similar formulas! All I can say is that the effect has been shown to work with just about all papers and just about all developers.

    I think that the problem is that a given developer without metol and one with both metol and HQ would be optimized in a toally different fashion and therefore might give the results shown. I've even done it with color to very good effect.

    The thing is here too, that the Sabattier effect is very dependant on the re-exposing light intensity and the time at which it is given, and that varies with paper and with developer as well. The author may not have investigated these parameters.

    I find exactly what he has regarding fog, but reducing time and moving the re-exposure to a later point in develpment lowers fog dramatically thereby somewhat refuting what he states. It is merely a matter of 'wasting' a lot of paper and time in the DR to optimize your conditions.

    PE

  7. #7
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Yeah, I know, but Sabatier stole the credit for it, so I hesitate to give it his name.

    That's quite an accusation. Could you please substantiate it.

    As far as my information goes he (Sabattier) published his findings in 1860 in the Bulletins de Societe Francaise Phographique and since then that photographic effect was generally named after him.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    That's quite an accusation. Could you please substantiate it.

    As far as my information goes he (Sabattier) published his findings in 1860 in the Bulletins de Societe Francaise Phographique and since then that photographic effect was generally named after him.
    http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/wljeme/Chapt1.html, first section. The author (a William L. Jolly of the UC Berkeley chem department) cites his sources; one of them is the introduction to Sabatier's (or Sabattier's---the spelling seems to be inconsistent) original 1860 paper in Cosmos, where the Societe's recording secretary points to an earlier description of the same effect.

    I haven't done the research to check it at first hand, though; I'm taking Jolly's citations at their word, and certainly someone along the chain of evidence could be wrong.

  9. #9
    AgX
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    Thanks! That is an interesting link.

    Sabat(t)ier himself is not very well known, his name only shows up in those technical textbooks in connection with that effect, and even to find that french paper cited, I had to look through quite a lot of them to find a single bibliographical hint.

  10. #10
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    It is common for a name to be associated with an effect if one shows diligence in pursuit of the effect. Therefore, Sabat(t)ier seems to have perhaps co-invented this effect at almost the same time as another individual, but the other individual dismissed it as being useless, whereas Sabattier showed it to be a useful attractive art form. Therefore, he got the credit!

    I have heard the same story from several sources about the early days of this work. It may or may not be true, but Sabattier has stuck. Today, people still confuse Solarization with Sabattier, but this does not make them right. They take place in different places and use a different mechanism.

    PE

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